Lewis Hamilton insisted that Mercedes still has a lot of work ahead despite the Briton posting the quickest time seen so far during the penultimate day of running Barcelona.
Hamilton's final day at the wheel of the new F1 W04 prior to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix ended with him comfortably leading the way on Saturday at Catalunya, with his best lap being well over half a second quicker than anyone else was able to manage.
Indeed, Hamilton was the only driver who was able to lap under the 1min 21secs marker on a day when Mercedes showed that it could well be a contender during the year ahead.
Despite showing strong pace on both the soft and medium compound tyre however, Hamilton said he wasn't getting too carried away, especially as rival teams in the paddock have yet to show their full hand.
“It was great to have a dry track today for my final day of testing, and we were able to get through all the test items that we wanted to achieve by the end of my programme,” the Briton admitted. “There's still a lot of work ahead of us to get to where we want to be but the team is doing a great job. The guys are working so hard at the factory and here at the track; it's been really nice to get to know everyone in the garage and how they work together over the past few weeks.
“The reliability, the mileage and the step-by-step improvements that we have achieved during the three tests are all very encouraging. Whilst we've been focusing on our own performance, we definitely haven't seen the full potential of our competitors yet, so it's difficult to predict where we might be. I'll be back at the factory next week doing some final preparation work on the simulator and with my engineers, and then it's off to Melbourne for the first race of the new season with my new team.”
Nico Rosberg will conclude Mercedes' pre-season programme today [Sunday].